Workers help assemble this Nova Scotia Power transmission tower. The tower is one of six being built to facilitate a new power line crossing the Strait of Canso.

PORT HAWKESBURY: Superintendent Ford Rice says the Strait regional school board (SRSB) is taking recent knife-related incidents at two local schools very seriously.

The first incident on October 10 involved a folding utility knife and an alleged threat to a student of St. Mary’s Education Centre/Academy. The interaction occurred on a bus and was witnessed by several students. No one was hurt and the knife was seized by the RCMP. A 16-year-old was charged with assault with a weapon and the matter was referred to Restorative Justice.

On October 18, the principal of East Antigonish Education Centre/Academy sent a letter to parents and guardians informing them that two incidents had occurred in the school that day. The first involved a student who exposed a pocket knife “in a threatening manner” to several other students. The second involved a student who was in possession of a utility knife and three razor blades, but had made no direct threats.

Contributed photo
MacRae’s Island was one of the areas to be protected by the Nova Scotia Nature Trust.

ARICHAT: Richmond County’s new Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) will be on the job at the beginning of 2018. Warden Brian Marchand announced the appointment of Kent MacIntyre as CAO and confirmed MacIntyre will be starting in the position as of January 1, 2018 and interim CAO Louis Digout will be leaving in early January.

The warden explained that Digout reviewed the 46 applications for the post, then provided councillors with the names of the top four candidates. Of those candidates selected to be interviewed for approximately an hour and 30 minutes, two were from Richmond County and two from other parts of Cape Breton.

PORT HAWKESBURY: The Strait Region Society for Children, Youth, and Families hosted an information session with child advocacy consultant, Marvin M. Bernstein, who spoke in favor of improving services for youth in the province.

Out of Canada’s 13 provinces and territories, 11 have independent offices dedicated to the rights of children. Nine of these offices are self-standing, but in Nova Scotia, this role is undertaken by the Youth and Senior Services Division of the Ombudsman’s Office.

Photo by Melanie Holder
Following the November 14 announcement, students demonstrated the NSCC’s new marine navigation simulation equipment.

HALIFAX: Three groups, Phyllis Baker, Henri Steeghs, and Pleasant Valley Nurseries Ltd., along with Ernest Curry and Tri-City Management, as well as Eileen Curry and Justamere Café Ltd. are seeking compensation for their businesses “as a result of the construction of the first portion of the Antigonish by-pass and the resulting physical changes to the pre-existing Highway 104 which impaired access to the business property and reduced the market value of the premises,” stated the notices of hearing in all three matters.

The claimants are also looking for compensation for time and costs incurred in the mitigation of the losses.

Phyllis Baker, Henri Steeghs, and Pleasant Valley Nurseries are seeking $258,930; while Ernest Curry and Tri-City Management, the owners and operators of The Claymore Inn & Suites, are seeking $2,626,094; and Eileen Curry and Justamere Cafe Ltd., owners of Justamere Cafe and Bistro, are seeking $303,881.

ANTIGONISH: Representatives from town council and the RCMP were hoping to take part in a meeting following the StFX homecoming weekend.

Antigonish RCMP Sgt. Warren McBeath said police dealt with a number of incidents during the September 30-October 1 weekend, including 43 tickets for illegal possession of alcohol, eight more for intoxication in public, two for underage drinking, as well as 24 Motor Vehicle Act-related charges, three charges of impaired driving or refusing to provide a breath sample, one charge of possession of marijuana, and one charge of possession of cocaine. Police also lodged 15 students in cells due to intoxication.

Contributed photo
The Youth Eagle Program was started by We’koqma’q Band Councillor Steven Googoo to empower young people in his community. The young people are seen here following a pledge-signing ceremony for the group.

HALIFAX: St. Martha’s Regional Hospital is among the health care facilities which will receive funding to the tune of $800,000 this year to create 470 new spots under a new provincial opioid treatment program.

The government hoped this will not only eliminate the current waitlist, but also add 250 more spaces in communities across the province. Currently, Nova Scotians can access publicly funded treatment at 12 sites across the province.

To meet growing demand, the Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) will expand capacity at existing locations and open a new location in Antigonish during the next six months.

MULGRAVE: Mulgrave Town Council hired Jim Davis as CAO for the town. Davis, who previously served as the town’s finance manager since 2016, took over for Kevin Matheson, who was named as the town’s interim CAO in November of 2015.

When asked why he took on the new role, Davis said the challenge of it was what made him apply. Davis also served as the Town of Port Hawkesbury’s director of finance for 28 years and CAO for 19 months. He retired for a time before serving as the interim finance manager for the County of Antigonish, and other work with the Town of Antigonish and Victoria County, as well as a brief stint working for Port Hawkesbury again.

Photo by Jake Boudrot
Last fall a five-tonne weight restriction was placed on this bridge which serves the communities of Port Royal, St. Mary’s and Janvrin’s Island. Just prior to the holidays, the bridge was closed indefinitely by the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal.

PORT HAWKESBURY: Port Hawkesbury Mayor Brenda Chisholm-Beaton says the Destination Reeves Street project is progressing according to schedule.

The mayor said the town received a commitment for some funding from the province. The town has been hosting consultation sessions with business leaders and advisory groups. Council received letters of support from local business owners, which were read at November’s monthly council meeting.

GUYSBOROUGH: Maritime Launch Services (MLS) representatives said an open house at the Canso Fire Hall to discuss the possibility of selecting the Canso area as the site of a rocket launch base was a success.

MLS president Steve Matier said over 110 people came to the event and there was a lot of interest in the project. He said a number of residents want to learn more about the project so they can be a part of it down the road.

A FAQ page on the MLS Web site states around 30 to 40 full-time MLS employees/contractors would be present at the launch area or control centre by late 2019.

Photo by Matt Draper
(From the left): Natasha Hatcher, Richard Burgess, Stacy Boudreau, Patricia Bird, and Shauna Cotton were pictured in the newly opened and refurbished ROC Store in Port Hawkesbury in November.

HALIFAX: Greg Boone, director of public affairs with the Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA), confirmed the ER at the Strait-Richmond Hospital closed at least seven times since September.

In order to remedy the situation, Boone said the NSHA is in talks with physicians in the Eastern zone about possible options, noting the authority is doing its best to make sure there is coverage for not only Wednesdays but also to ensure the entire schedule is full.

Boone said local physicians have busy family practices and clinic responsibilities, on top of their shifts at the emergency department, which he said is common. A physician leaving the area will create a scheduling gap, he said.

Photo by Melanie Holder
The contestants in the Start-Up Port Hawkesbury contest were judged by local business leaders, (from the left): Wayne MacKay of Canso Ford, Tracey Cummings of Subway and Celtic Sisters Gifts, and Danielle MacDonald of Tim Hortons.

PORT HAWKESBURY: Michelle Tabensky of That Dog Place Doggy Daycare was announced as the winner of the Start-Up Port Hawkesbury competition. The Dragon’s Den-style contest was organized by the Eastern Strait Regional Enterprise Network (ESREN), in partnership with the Town of Port Hawkesbury, to foster entrepreneurship in the community.

The final contestants, including Tabensky, Liam Brophy with Island Enigmas, and Waddie Long, Jude Long, and Jason Horton also presented their marketing and apparel business, Proud Maritimer Marketing, presented their business plans to a panel of five judges. The judges included Senator Dan Christmas of Membertou, Tracey Cummings of Subway and Celtic Sisters Gifts, Wayne MacKay of Canso Ford, Danielle MacDonald of Tim Hortons, and Tareq Hadhad of Peace By Chocolate.